Emilia Nardi, the youngest daughter of the founder of Tenute Silvio Nardi, began managing the winery at the age of 30.
Emilia Nardi proves that authentic power isn't loud and flashy. Soft-spoken with a commanding presence, Emilia's charisma lies in her elegant demeanor. It's no wonder that Emilia is one of the most respected women in the wine world and a true leader in the prestigious realm of Brunello di Montalcino.
Continuing the family legacy that began when her father Silvio purchased the Casale del Bosco estate in 1950, Emilia has led Tenute Silvio Nardi since she was 30 years old and has put her executive MBA to impressive use by focusing on modernizing the estate and vineyard development. Her innovations have not gone unnoticed and in 2004 Emilia was recognized by Italy's Agricultural Ministry as a Female Agricultural Innovator. Emilia is the real deal.
Casale del Bosco vineyard
image courtesy of Tenute Silvio Nardi
When an invitation arrived to meet Emilia and taste her family's acclaimed wines, I did not hesitate to say yes. One of Italy's most iconic wine regions, when Silvio Nardi arrived in 1950, Montalcino was not the global powerhouse that it is today. In fact, being from Umbria, Nardi was actually considered the first "foreigner" to invest in Montalcino. One of the founding members of the powerful Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, Nardi's intuition and investment paid off beautifully as shown by the worldwide esteem and craving for Brunello.
Harvest at Tenute Silvio Nardi
image courtesy of Tenute Silvio Nardi
Brunello di Montalcino is produced from Tuscany's celebrated Sangiovese grape but this one grape expresses itself in infinite ways based on terroir and winemaking technique. Tenute Silvio Nardi has extensively invested in development and research to select the best Sangiovese clones. They also focus on creating terroir-driven wines from their estates. Truly a family affair, Emilia's nephew, Emanuele Nardi, has held the prestigious position of winemaker since 2008.
Tenute Silvio Nardi Rosso di Montalcino DOC 2016 ($29.99) is an affordable and elegant introduction to their wine style. Matured in oak casks for only six months, the wine retains impressive youth and freshness. Lovely flavors of fresh ripe cherry and pomegranate meld seamlessly with fine tannins and a hint of clove and pepper. Elegant but easygoing!
Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 ($64.99) blends the finest Sangiovese grapes from their Manachiara and Casale del Bosco estates. Aged for 12 months in French oak barriques, 18 months in large Slavonian oak barrels, and bottle aged at least 12 months before release; this wine goes on quite a journey. Of course, this extensive and elaborate aging process makes Brunello more intense than the younger Rosso but it still displays impressive freshness because of its lively acidity. Layered and complex, it has bold red and black berry flavors, hints of licorice, clove, and herbs. Round and velvety with great structure, this Brunello will age beautifully. When buying Brunello, Emilia recommends getting 3 bottles "1 for now, 1 to drink in 10 years, 1 to drink in 20 years."
Tenute Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino Manachiara DOCG 2012 ($114.99) is a single-vineyard superstar. The Manachiara estate was purchased in 1962 and the Manachiara vineyard has vines that are about 50 years old -- the estate's oldest. These mature vines produce grapes with impressive character and flavor and this Brunello conveys that beautifully. Rich and supple, it is an alluring melange of intense fruit with vibrant floral and spice notes with gripping minerality. This wine will grow even more captivating as time goes by.
Do you still doubt the aging potential of a finely crafted Brunello di Montalcino? During our dinner, Emilia surprised us with some old vintages, including this impressive 1968! Even at 50 years old, it showed outstanding structure and nuance -- an excellent bellwether for younger vintages of Tenute Silvio Nardi wines.